Saturday, June 6, 2009

BookExpo America 2009 (part 1)

Last weekend was a very exciting one for me--Karlene and I went to NYC for BookExpo America! I'd been looking forward to this ever since I found out Julie Andrews would be there, and it didn't disappoint.

We left CT on Thursday morning and arrived in the city in time to check into our hotel room and get hot dogs in front of the Javits Center for lunch before attending a couple of educational sessions with hundreds of other booksellers and librarians. After these we went back to the hotel, changed into sneakers, and set off to find a bookstore. At this point it was raining--not hard, but enough that we were pretty wet by the time we got to our destination--where we discovered that the store had very unusual hours, none of which included the hour we were there. There was, however, a nice little Austrian restaurant across the street, so we had a delicious dinner and warmed up a little before heading back out into the rain. That night, after watching a little bit of the National Spelling Bee on TV (I had no idea that was how to pronounce blancmange!), we attended a reception for Avin Dominitz, who is apparently a brilliant man, and huge in the world of bookselling. I'd never heard of him before that day (although he did lead the session on handselling that I attended), but it was a neat experience nonetheless.
(This is the view from our hotel room. We were on the 17th floor.)

Friday morning we woke up at 5:15 and were out the door around 6:00, heading back to the Javits Center. We were able to take the subway part of the way, but then it was four long blocks of walking in the rain--which turned into eight blocks because we walked two before realizing we were going the wrong direction. (Yep. We're good like that.) We shot envious glances at a man with an umbrella large enough for four and received a pitying look in return. Finally we arrived and found the booth where we could get tickets to get signed books by some of the more famous authors. They'd run out of Julie Andrews tickets at 6:30, but we were able to get a few others--Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Suzanne Collins. At this point I would have also liked a booth handing out towels with which to dry my feet, but I quickly forgot my discomfort in light of the fact that it was time for the Children's Author Breakfast with Julie Andrews, Tomie DePaola, Meg Cabot, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal!

Part Two coming soon...

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